In addition to returning to L.A., where he grew up in nearby Crenshaw, Jackson also reunites with coach Sean McVay, who was his offensive coordinator for three seasons in Washington, and will play a key role for a team that’s expected to contend for a Super Bowl.
“I look at it almost like when LeBron went back to Cleveland and won the championship for Cleveland, Ohio, so that’s what I’m here for,” Jackson said during an introductory videoconference Friday. “That’s all I’m really worried about.”
A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Jackson emphasized that he’s no longer concerned about personal accolades going into his 14th NFL season. He’s recorded the most 60-plus-yard touchdowns (24) in NFL history and ranks sixth all time in yards per reception (17.4).
“At this point in my career, I’m about winning,” said Jackson, who has advanced to the postseason six times and has appeared in eight playoff games, including the NFC Championship Game during the 2008 season.
In four seasons under McVay, the Rams have made three playoff appearances, won two division titles and a conference championship.
Coming off a 10-6 season and a divisional playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Rams return three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald and All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the NFL’s top-ranked defense in 2020.
On offense, the Rams completed a blockbuster trade this month to acquire quarterback Matthew Stafford, who will lead a unit that includes receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, tight end Tyler Higbee, running back Cam Akers and now Jackson.
“To be on a team that’s capable of having a push into late December, January and obviously February where the Super Bowl is, for me that’s my No. 1 goal,” said Jackson, who turned 34 in December.
Uncertainty remains whether NFL teams will be allowed to conduct in-person offseason programs because of ongoing coronavirus restrictions, but Jackson said he has spoken with Stafford and the two plan to train together.
“That dude is a beast; his arm is out of the world,” Jackson said. “So I’m excited to — I’m gonna say, ‘Man, just, I’m gonna run far, you just throw it far and hopefully we can beat everybody.'” Jackson, who was sidelined for the majority of the past two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles because of injuries, said he had other options in free agency but emphasized his desire to reunite with McVay, whose offense he thrived in with Washington.
“For me, that’s something that was very intriguing to be able to come back and re-emerge with somebody that really knows me,” said Jackson, who had 1,000-plus receiving yard seasons with McVay in 2014 and 2016. “So I think it’s going to be a (re-emergence) because he knows me. He knows how to utilize me, and he’s going to be put me in the best positions to win.”